So you have decided that you want a destination wedding France, but where do you start? The decision making process is similar to a wedding venue search in your domestic country, the basis of which is, who are you inviting to your wedding?
- number of guests
- children and families
- older relatives
- guests with access requirements
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The size and range of french wedding venues is enormous from lavish Chateaus to more intimate french venues with their own chapel. Although some venues have multiple rooms that you can hire on an individual basis, the majority of French country wedding venues work on exclusivity, on hiring the entire venue for you and your wedding guests. Apart from in Paris where the range of hire options is larger.
One of the major differences between a domestic and destination wedding is the consideration for travel, accommodation and activities for your guests that you should factor in. Many of the beautiful Chateaus and more rustic country venues are very rural, set down winding french country lanes potentially with a small hamlet or village in the nearby area. If the majority of your guests are flying in, what transport provisions are there to get from the airport to the venue? If guests hire cars is there discreet but secure parking available? You don’t what a row of hire cars in front of your venue for your wedding pictures!
What are the accommodation options? The larger Chateaus and castles have a number of rooms that can be hired inclusive of the wedding package or for an additional cost. Is there enough room for your all of your guests? Do you want you and your wedding guests to be at the same venues for 2-3 days? Is the venue child friendly with enough cribs, high chairs etc for children?
If there is not enough accommodation for all guests, where is the nearest accommodation available? How will the guests travel between the offsite accommodation and the venue?
Some wedding guests might decide to prolong their stay and make it part of a holiday, enabling longer wedding celebrations. Newlywed Cat who got married in the Dordogne, said :”most of them (guests) decided to make it into a holiday and booked rental properties for the week. We couldn’t go into the local town or restaurants without bumping into friends and family and, as we were there for a week, we were able to spend time with all our guests at some point, which took the pressure off the wedding day.”
Part of the attraction of a beautiful french Chateau or rustic farmhouse in France is the charm and character of the venues. However the charm and character does not always allow for the same standard of disabled access in an American or UK venue (it is not so easy to cut through thick stone to create a larger entrance). If you have elderly relatives or guests with disabled requirements, check what their needs are to avoid problems arising on the day.
Before you decide and book your wedding venue check with your government agency on their travel advice to France Travel.State.Gov from USA, SmarTraveller from Australia and Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.
Of course whilst considering your guests is important, don’t forget that it is your day primarily so what venue do you fall in love with?